The World's Cheapest Cities for Foodies

  • 01 of 08

    Michelin Guide's 2017 Bib Gourmand Listings

    Mamagoto

    As any gourmet worth their salt will know, there’s more to good food than five-star restaurants. In 1997, the world-famous Michelin Guide initiated its Bib Gourmand concept in recognition of the fact that the appreciation of truly good food should not be reserved exclusively for the wealthy. Unlike the guide’s Michelin-starred restaurants, Bib Gourmand establishments offer exceptional cuisine at affordable prices - making them the ideal choice for foodies in the know.

    The Michelin Guide is by no means exhaustive, covering just 23 countries worldwide. As a result, major foodie destinations like Melbourne, Australia, and Penang, Malaysia do not appear on its annual rankings. However, as a good starting point for those looking to plan their next city break around unforgettable, inexpensive cuisine, the Bib Gourmand rating is invaluable. Here are a few of the cities with the most Bib Gourmand ratings for 2017

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  • 02 of 08

    Tokyo, Japan

    Bepocah Harajuku Peruvian Restaurant

    Despite the fact that the Michelin Guide listings for 2017 saw the number of Bib Gourmand restaurants in Tokyo fall from 343 to 315, the Japanese capital still retains a fearsome lead in this (and all other) Michelin categories. To achieve the Bib Gourmand rating, Japanese restaurants must offer meals for less than ¥5,000 per head (approximately $45). New entrants for 2017 include authentic ramen eatery Motenashi Kuroki, and Bépocah, an elegant restaurant serving up Peruvian classics with contemporary flair. 

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  • 03 of 08

    Osaka, Japan

    Ali's Kitchen

    Confirming Japan’s title as one of the best destinations in the world for discerning foodies, Osaka ranks second with 142 Bib Gourmand rated restaurants. Some of this year’s entries have retained their title from previous years, including hugely popular restaurant Ajinoya, which specializes in authentic okonomiyaki (a kind of Japanese savory pancake). 35 of Osaka’s Bib Gourmand restaurants are newly appointed for 2017. Highlights include Ali’s Kitchen, which represents the first appearance of Pakistani cuisine in a Japanese Michelin Guide. 

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  • 04 of 08

    New York City, United States

    El Atoradero

    The highest rated city in North America, New York claims 131 Bib Gourmand restaurants, of which 28 are newly listed. New York is notable not only for the quality of its restaurants but also for its incredible diversity, with 34 different cuisines now represented in the Bib Gourmand category. Exciting new entries include farm-to-table restaurant Olmsted, and El Atoradero, a Mexican eatery famous for its mouthwatering tacos. To qualify, U.S. restaurants must serve two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less.

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  • 05 of 08

    Kyoto, Japan

    Cenetta Barba

    Kyoto completes Japan’s trifecta of top-rated cheap foodie cities, with 20 new entries contributing to an overall total of 90 Bib Gourmand restaurants. Amongst these is Hohei, a popular eatery in Higashiyama Ward that specializes in gyoza (Japanese dumplings) made with ginger. This is the first time that gyoza has been represented as a Bib Gourmand cuisine. Other new highlights include Uneno, an udon restaurant in the city center; and Cenetta Barba, which specializes in homestyle Italian favorites including tiramisu and ragù bolognese. 

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  • 06 of 08

    Paris, France

    Mamagoto

    France is renowned for the quality of its cuisine, and nowhere is this reputation more deserved than in cosmopolitan, stylish Paris. This year’s Michelin Guide awarded 66 Bib Gourmand ratings in the French capital, of which 17 were new entries. All of these restaurants offer a three-course prix-fixe menu for €36 (approximately $40) or less. Highlights of this year’s list include first-time awardees French/Japanese fusion spot Mamagoto and on-trend health restaurant Raw, in addition to Bib Gourmand veterans like Aux Verres de Contact and Mandoobar. 

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  • 07 of 08

    Hong Kong

    CIAK All Day Italian

    Hong Kong follows Paris with 63 Bib Gourmand entries on this year’s list - along with a further 12 in neighboring Macau. Of those in Hong Kong proper, four entries are new to 2017, including Brass Spoon (a casual Vietnamese spot serving bowls of flavorful pho) and Liu Yuan Pavilion (specializing in Shanghainese cuisine). Although most Bib Gourmand restaurants here serve Chinese fare, Thailand, Indonesia, India, and Malaysia are also represented. New entry CIAK All Day Italian is the first European restaurant to make the city’s Bib Gourmand list. 

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  • 08 of 08

    Honorable Mentions

    Bao

    London and Chicago were tied in seventh place with 52 Bib Gourmand restaurants apiece. The English capital saw 15 new additions for 2017 (including Soho's every-busy Bao, which serves up small Taiwanese dishes), while only three new restaurants made the cut in the Windy City. San Francisco represented the West Coast in eighth place with a total of 46 Bib Gourmand entries, while the Belgian capital Brussels claimed ninth place with 33 awarded restaurants. Despite being one of the world’s smallest countries, Singapore proved that it packs a serious culinary punch by sliding into the top ten with no fewer than 17 Bib Gourmand restaurants.